cessive sweating happens when you sweat more than you might expect depending on the surrounding temperature or your activity level or stress. Excessive sweating can interfere with daily activities and cause social anxiety or embarrassment.
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Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis (hi-pur-hi-DROE-sis), can affect the entire body or just certain areas, particularly the palms, soles, underarms or face. The type that typically affects the hands and feet causes at least one episode a week, during waking hours.
If heavy sweating has no specific medical cause, it’s called primary hyperhidrosis. This type occurs when the nerves responsible for triggering the sweat glands become overactive and require more perspiration even when it’s not needed. Primary hyperhidrosis may be at least partially hereditary.
If the sweating can be attributed to a specific medical condition, it’s called secondary hyperhidrosis.
Health conditions that may result to excessive sweating include:
- Fever of undetermined cause
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- (overactive thyroid)
- Medication side effects, such as sometimes experienced when taking some beta blockers and antidepressants
- Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)